The BJP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Tuesday got into a blame game after a man whose daughter was sexually harassed was shot dead, allegedly by the main accused out on bail since 2018 and his associates, in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh.
While SP president Akhilesh Yadav targetted the BJP government over the murder, BJP leaders alleged that main accused Gaurav Sharma was affiliated to the SP. SP leaders retaliated by posting pictures of the accused along with BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam .
Meanwhile, police arrested one of the four named accused persons, Lalit Sharma.
A daughter of the deceased, Ambarish Sharma, said her father was shot by six-seven people.
The incident took place around 4 p.m. in Naujarpur village in Sasni on Monday.
Hathras Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal said Ambarish was shot by Gaurav and his friends and he died on the way to hospital.
Body found in field
Inspector General Aligarh Piyush Mordia said Ambarish’s body was found in a potato field by police.
In the police complaint, the daughter said the accused had threatened them to withdraw the sexual harassment case and fired at her father indiscriminately.
In June 2018, Ambarish lodged an FIR against Gaurav on charges of chedkhani” (molestation or eve-teasing), said Mr. Jaiswal. The next month, Gaurav was sent to jail and he was released on bail after a month, the officer added.
Following the police complaint, there was continued bad blood between the two families, said police.
On Monday, when Gaurav’s wife and maternal aunt had gone to a temple in the village, they got into an altercation with both the daughters of Ambarish over the sexual harassment incident, said the SP.
Gaurav and Ambarish soon reached the spot and there was a heated argument between the two, Mr. Jaiswal said.
Gaurav called some boys belonging to his family to the spot and fired at Ambarish, said the police.
On the complaint of the victim’s family, an FIR was registered against four named accused.
Breaking down before the media, Ambarish’s daughter begged for justice. “Please give me justice,” she said with folded hands. “First he committed ‘chedkhani’ with me. My father filed a case. And he shot my papa out of annoyance.”
Mr. Jaiswal said teams had been formed to arrest the accused. “We will arrest them at the earliest and take the toughest action against all four.”
Mr. Mordia said full protection was provided to the family of the deceased.
Women in despair: Akhilesh
Mr. Akhilesh Yadav tweeted that women in the State were in despair under the BJP government and had even given up demanding justice from this government. “Bahut hua mahilao par atyachar, abki baar BJP bahar,” he said.
BJP leaders took to social media to allege that the main accused was linked to the SP. They shared pictures of Gaurav claiming to be a member of the SP from the Barauli Vidhan Sabha.
Subhrat Pathak, BJP MP from Kannauj gave it a caste colour. “Beware of the red cap. This Samajwadi leader murdered the father of a Brahmin girl for opposing molestation. The SP supports such criminals. The bigger the criminal, the bigger Samajwadi he is,” he said on Twitter.
On Facebook, the accused ran a page under the name of Gaurav Songra and claimed to be a SP leader. Several pictures of him wearing the SP colours and on banners linking him to the party were posted by him. Recently, he had even posted about a “vishaal kisan mahapanchayat” that Mr. Yadav would participate in on March 3.
Juhie Singh, senior SP leader, however, said that the accused was neither an incumbent office-bearer of the SP nor a spokesperson. “For us he is a guilty person…under the present government such criminals are flourishing,” she tweeted.
SP leaders posted photos of Gaurav, allegedly along with the BJP MP from Aligarh and accused the party of providing protection to the accused.